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Posts Tagged ‘robbery’

I walked by the place on the sidewalk where one of Thursday nights seven slashings too place, hoping that the heavy rains of last night would have erased these stains. The automobile that had been parked at the curb was gone this morning and the rivers of blood had created a lake amongst the cobblestones. The stains? still very visible and the memories will likewise be visible to the few who know of these events, and raising more questions than answers.

I don’t like writing about this but i can think of no other way to exorcise the fear, if not the loathing, for what happened and hasn’t happened. No news coverage, no public knowledge other than the feeble reach-out by Guatemala’s joke of a tourism board. Go to any number of Antigua’s many bars and feel the fear and the uncertainty. Go to City Hall and ask anyone there, if you can find them. Today’s big event was a multi-car, orange-flagged procession of political(and paid)supporters of the mayor and the likely next President, Senor Otto Perez Molina. The Patriot Party? Viva! their slogan? ‘Mano Duro!’ Viva…where were the local police for some five hours Thursday night? having a snooze, a brew or sewing up orange banners? Mano Duro? flash the middle digit and that’s the message…the various tourists cut and robbed will contact their respective embassies: the Australian, the Canadian and whoever the rest of the unfortunate few hail from. The Embassies will write the events in their monthly crime statistics reports, post them and forget about it. Their Consuls may contact the police and ask for a report, which they may or may not receive.

 

The fear, horrow and memories of those assaulted may fade in time: the gashed faces, arms and legs may heal eventually. The trails of blood may likewise fade, given enough rain and time. The sense of safety that was the illusion fostered by travel guides has now been proven to be proven to be exactly that: an illusion. Who’s next, when and where? Those of us who live here know that safety in Guatemala City is a joke but personally I always thought that Antigua was a neutral zone. The Tourist Police are everywhere, the black-clad PNC drive up and down the calles at night and all was supposed to be good, safe and secure, at least in Antigua proper. The latin version of  Clockwork Orange disproved that this week…a little ultraviolence, anyone?

“the horror…the horror” Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ may well be the new leitmotif for Antigua.

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No, she didn’t come back as a flower but her double/twin/doppleganger is running for office in San Cristobal de las casas in Mexico. I was walking across the main square a few nights ago, downtown, and noticed the crowd on the sidewalk listening to someone in the back of a pickup truck…there were balloons, a larger-than-life blowup vinyl doll representing the candidate with a goofy smile…and the woman herself, Magdalena Cucaracha or whatever: she’s got the perfect pulled back blond Eva Peron hair-style, the look and the gestures. She begged, she cried, she pleaded…she worked the crowd into a frenzy of clapping and fist-pumping…’send me to the capital to work for you, there will be two chickens full of pot’….and so on. She made Palin look like yesterdays warmed over Hamburger Helper…tight little brown business suit, red-lacquered nails and the microphone took more abuse than a Meatloaf concert. Ole!

Do They Have No Shame?

Do They Have No Shame?

The major tourist trap/draw is amber(aside from the mayan ladies with their weavings) and it appears that someone had too much time or material on their hands…’hey…let’s do logos!’ Available were amber pieces inscribed with Corona beer, or Mexicana airlines..and no, Genitalia is NOT the italian airline. Weirdly enough, San Cristobal has an expat community of some 200 Italians(and now I know why)…but who cares? the place ain’t easy to get to, as the nearest airport is fifty miles away. Yep…bus trip…12 hours from Antigua, via a decent shuttle. Meds and rum made it palatable and I coulda packed my stocking stuffer in the bag,  because there was no inspection of luggage or briefcase, coming in or going out. I’d forgotten that a local gringo lady had been stopped/robbed and tied up on the Gautemalan side a few months ago, aboard a similar kind of tourist shuttle bus…its just like Willie Sutton answered when they asked him why he robbed banks…’that’s where the money is.’  I will be going back, jack and the safety will be off, if that’s a clue.

Its good to be home and away from the torrential downpours of San Cristobal…the house is a mess, as am I, but the laundry’s being done up the street, the suitcase is emptied and I’ve filled the ice trays. Damn…I forgot to restock the Flor de Cana…do I make the bed or make a run? screw the bed, it ain’t goin’ anywhere soon…hasta la pasta etc..

 

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